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Glossary of Terms

Abscess
Cavity filled with pus and bacteria caused by infection
Asymmetry
Differences in each breast that can be seen visually
Autologous
Tissue from your own body
Bilateral
Refers to both sides, or both breasts
Biopsy
Tissue sample sent for diagnosis by a pathologist
Breast Implant
A manufactured filler used to create volume in a breast. This can be filled with silicone or saline.
Cancer
Cells originally from normal tissue that have grown out of control.
Capsular contracture
Tightening of the scar capsule around an implant, which may distort the shape of the breast and cause discomfort.
Capsule
Scar surrounding an implant.
Contralateral
Opposite side. For example, in right sided breast cancer, the left side is contralateral
DCIS (ductal carcinoma in-situ)
Non-invasive, abnormal pre-cancer cells within the breast originating from the breast ducts.
Fat Necrosis
Death of fat cells caused by lack of blood flow. This creates a hard lump under the skin of the reconstructed breast.
Hematoma
A collection of blood trapped in a cavity as a result of a bleeding vessel
Hypertrophic scar
Scar tissue that is raised beyond what is normal
Infiltrating ductal carcinoma
Most common type of breast cancer. Cancer cells originate in the ducts of the breast.
Infiltrating lobular carcinoma
Second most common type of breast cancer. Cancer cells originate in the breast lobules.
In-situ
Pre-cancer that is contained within its tissue barrier.
Invasive
Cancer had grown beyond its tissue barrier, giving it the potential to spread.
Ipsilateral
Refers to a location on the same side. For example, for a right-side breast reconstruction, the patient's right side is ipsilateral.
Keloid scar
Scar tissue that extends beyond its boundaries, becoming raised and usually itchy.
LCIS (lobular carcinoma in-situ)
Non-invasive, abnormal cells, originating from the breast lobule. This is not a pre-cancer, but indicates a risk of future cancer development.
Local anaesthesia
Administration of anaesthesia to an area where “freezing” is desired. This is most effective using an injection with a needle.
Malposition
The undesired placement of a breast implant
Metastatic
Cancer spread from its original site to other sites, for example lymph nodes or other organs.
Pedicled flap
A flap that moves tissue from one site to another, while remaining connected to the patient at all times
Prophylactic
Action taken to reduce the chance of having cancer (as in a “prophylactic” mastectomy on the unaffected breast)
Prosthesis
An artificial device used to replace a real body part.
Seroma
A collection of fluid that develops in a cavity.
Saline
Salt-water solution containing 0.9% sodium chloride.
Tumour
Latin origin for “swelling”. This refers to any abnormal growth of tissue.
Unilateral
Referring to one side, or one breast.